Love is in the Air Wedding: Shelby + Daniel

chicago wedding

Shelby + Daniel are from two totally different worlds but together they work perfectly. :) Daniel was born in Guatemala and raised in Los Angeles while Shelby was raised in a small town in Illinois. They really wanted to highlight where they’ve been and where they are now. Right after Daniel proposed, he got a job in Dallas which is where they now live. So, they really wanted to highlight those four places in their wedding. They represented their past, present (traveling long distance between Chicago and LA throughout our 4 year courtship), and their future in Texas.

They choose the theme “Love is in the Air” to play off all of their air travel and Shelby (who is a graphic designer) started sketching illustrations for their invitations. They had several nods to the long distance, from airplane decorations to her cloud aisle runner to the place cards which were little wooden cutouts of the four places in their “story.” They also really wanted to embrace both of their families and their cultures so every single piece of printed material + signage was translated into both English and Spanish. Their ceremony was bilingual and at the reception they served Guatemalan sweetbread as one of the desserts with instructions on how to eat it “like a Guatemalan.” Thanks so much to Katherine Elizabeth for sharing the gorgeous photos – and who is also our superstar intern here at GWS! :)

love is in the air invite

bride getting ready

lace wedding dress, locket on bouquet

I love the story behind their venue! From Shelby, “Our venue was a bank built in 1921 that had been owned by my grandfather. It had been used as storage for our family business for the past 30 years until I was desperate to find a place for my reception. One night after an exhaustive day of searching this crazy idea popped into my head. I ran it by my dad as he is always my partner in crime for these types of things! So despite my short 4 1/2 month engagement we completely remodeled the entire building to accommodate the reception. My dad literally worked around the clock to make this happen. The bank had so much sentimentality to me because as a child I had played in it and as a teenager I had my art studio in the upstairs. The building itself had the perfect feel for my small, family wedding. I love the art deco design and original flooring and lighting! When I walked into my reception, I was in awe of how beautiful the building looked, and it warmed my heart to think of it being used again after all these years.

I love that my grandpa bought that building not knowing how special it would be to me someday. It was a perfect way to remember him. Our entire wedding was a labor of love from our friends and family. During the four months we remodeled the bank we had so many awesome late nights, drinking coffee from the Keurig and sanding floors or fixing the 75 vintage chairs I collected. It was an amazing way to spend time with everyone before having to move across the country.

bank building reception

bride in yellow cardigan, yellow heart

groom in floral bow tie

rice to throw at ceremony

nature preserve ceremony

cloud isle runner

What song did you walk down the aisle to? I walked down the aisle to Bridal Chorus (performed by Adrian Holovaty) exited to Faster by Matt Nathanson

bride walking down isle

bride walking down isle

nature preserve ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

rice wedding exit

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? By far the most memorable part of our wedding day was our ceremony. Our families had never met until the weekend of our wedding and it was absolutely overwhelming to look at Daniel and then look out into the crowd and see everyone we love all together, laughing and smiling at us! I will never forget that my brother (who preformed our ceremony ) would make a joke in English and then Daniel’s brother would translate and all of Daniel’s family would burst into laughter. It was wonderful!

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom with umbrellas

bride and groom laughing

bride and groom under big tree

bride and groom shoes

bride in yellow cardigan

wedding direction signs

state shape wedding favor

yellow and pink decor

vintage chairs

cloud design windows

cloud note guestbook

paper fan photobooth backdrop

indoor reception

dessert bar

pan dulce

multi-colored wedding cake layers

wishing lanterns

wishing lanterns

movie letter light initials

Love their big letters? I do! Shelby made them herself and I found this great DIY so you can make them yourself via designsponge.

Any advice for those planning now?
My advice to brides planning is to enjoy the experience but to simplify. I am an obsessive, detail person so I spent loads of time and money on projects that I didn’t even see on my wedding day. I would suggest putting your most effort DIY wise into your ceremony background, sweetheart table and centerpieces. These seem to be both noticed the most by guests and photographed the most. Although, of course you could do a huge hanging decoration over your dance floor or something and totally prove my theory wrong :)

Also, I found that I am normally the person at events who is running around like crazy making things perfect. At your own wedding you can’t do this and if you’re that kind of person I would really recommend a wedding planner or at least a day of coordinator. I didn’t think it was necessary but truthfully there are many details that were missed in the execution stage just because there wasn’t someone who specifically had the job to oversee it.

Congrats to Shelby + Daniel!!


photography: Katherine Elizabeth Photography // venue name: old bank owned by the family // wedding dress: Allure Bridal // bride's shoes: Nina Shoes with shoes clips from etsy // hair stylist: Sarah Harris, Peru, IL // makeup artist: Sarah Harris, Peru, IL // groom attire: Banana Republic and AllSaints and TopMan // catering: The Catering Gourmets // cake: Wanda McNally Cakes